Definition: A CMS or Content Management System is a software system that enables users to create and modify digital content on a website without the need to have web programming knowledge.
There are many free standard CMS Systems available such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal which facilitate the easy publishing of web content.
A Bespoke CMS is a tailored content management system built specifically for an organisations exact needs featuring functionality that is usually not seen or readily available with the free standard systems.
CMS's have made it possible for all sorts of businesses to create websites with ease – no coding knowledge needed, and most are relatively intuitive. Sites such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal have revolutionised the way people create and manage websites, putting them in control of what was previously an experts-only area.
However, there are limitations – and one size doesn’t always fit all. No matter how many options there may be, sometimes off-the-shelf content management systems simply fall short of offering you exactly what you require. In which case, a bespoke CMS could be just what you need.Specific Functionality.
While open-source CMS systems are continually having new functionality added by a community of developers, none of the new additions may suit your business needs. And whenever something original does turn up, it probably won’t stay original for long, as other users will be implementing it into their websites. By contrast, a custom CMS is tailored towards your specific requirements, adding functionality for your specific operational needs and allows you to stay one step ahead of the curve.User-Friendly Updates.
With an open-source CMS, general updates come along, and you have to take them, whether you like them or not. The updates may not suit your site, or even be necessary, but you’ll be stuck with them all the same. They may conflict with the existing code, slow the whole thing down or even bring it to a stop completely. With a bespoke CMS, your provider will manage your updates for you, but they certainly won’t force you into accepting updates that aren’t essential or helpful.Enhanced Security.
WordPress is the most popular when it comes to out-of-the-box CMS systems. It’s ‘out there’ for all to see, and because of that, it’s prone to targeting by automated bots. While security patches are released for open-source CMS systems, there are numerous websites using the same code – making it easier for hackers to find a way in. According to Security Intelligence, “All the big names, including WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, were targeted in 2014, resulting in thousands of breaches that opened back doors, uploaded Trojans and created large-scale botnets for denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.” And according to The Register, at least 15,769 WordPress sites were compromised in 2016.
By comparison, custom CMS systems are not common targets and offer a far greater degree of security options out the box, usually undergoing penetration testing as standard.Standard CMS Systems.
All CMS systems usually include these core functions:
- Creating, deleting, editing and organising of content pages
- A standard WYSIWYG editor to mark up headings, lists and links
- External file asset manager to upload documents and images
- A search function to allow users to find specific content
- Administration hierarchy for permission control for content teams
- SEO metadata editor for titles, descriptions, urls
- OG metadata editor for social media channels
A bespoke content management system may include the following features:
- Branch location contact details information manager
- Global official distributors network map pin editor
- Live jobs database management system
- Bespoke, effective and adaptive UI for different users
- Customised tiered dashboard reporting functionality
- A custom WYSIWYG editor to mark up headings, lists and links
- Customised on-site only security access control
If there’s a problem with your bespoke CMS, your developers will immediately work to resolve it. Additionally, getting to the bottom of any issues is speedier, since the system only contains code specific to your brand. When it comes to an open-source CMS, it can take far longer, due to the website owner and the developer of a particular module causing conflicts never coming into contact. Sometimes it’s even a case of waiting it out and hoping the issue is resolved in the next update.
Taking all this into consideration, while free open-source standard CMS systems can be hugely advantageous for many businesses in saving development time, if your company requires true customisation, ultimate flexibility and robust security, it’s well worth investigating whether a bespoke CMS would fit your requirements and meet your organisations needs better.
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